Lennon & Paul McCartney Original
First release: UK single, November 1963 First US release: US B-side, March 1964
Recording date: October 1963 Recording location: De Lane Lea Studios, Holborn (London), England
Producer: Eric Easton
Performed onstage: 1963-65, 1995* (possibly), 2012
Bass: Bill Wyman
Electric guitar: Keith Richards
Slide electric guitar (& solo): Brian Jones
Lead vocal: Mick Jagger
Backing vocal: Brian Jones
(John and Paul) were very much into hustling songs. Everybody was doing Beatles' songs and they were going straight into the charts. But we liked that song and the fact that John and Paul came down to a rehearsal of ours and laid it on us. We hadn't heard their version, we just heard John and Paul on piano, banging it out, you know. And we picked it up and it was just one of those jams... THEY got enthusiastic, WE got enthusiastic and we said, Right, we'll cut it tomorrow.
We came up with I Wanna Be Your Man - a Bo Diddley kind of thing. I said to Mick, Well, Ringo's got this track on our album, but it won't be a single and it might suit you guys. I knew Mick was into maracas, from when we'd seen them down at the Crawdaddy.
John and Paul ran through I Wanna Be Your Man for us. Paul, being left-handed, amazed me by playing my bass backward. Brian tried slide on it, which sounded great.
Well, we knew (the Beatles) by then and we were rehearsing and Andrew brought Paul and John down to the rehearsal. They said they had this tune, they were really hustlers then. I mean the way they used to hustle tunes was great: Hey Mick, we've got this great song. So they played it and we thought it sounded pretty commercial, which is what we were looking for, so we did it like Elmore James or something. I haven't heard it for ages but it must be pretty freaky 'cause nobody really produced it... It was completely crackers, but it was a hit and sounded great onstage.
We kind of learned it pretty quickly 'cause there wasn't that much to learn. Then Brian got his slide out, his steel (guitar) out and dadaw... dadaw... and we said, Yeah, that's better, dirty it up a bit and bash it out, and we kind of completely turned the song around and made it much more tough, Stones- and Elmore James-like.